So, there you were, the light was perfect, the buck wandered right in your sights... you took the shot. What should have been the perfect kill, turned into a deer that ran off and disappeared. We've all been there. Then there are those days when no matter how good you are at tracking and following the signs, you come away with nothing more than a good day out with Mother Nature for your efforts. This is where having a tracking dog can make all the difference to the outcome of your hunting season.
Bloodhounds are naturally good at tracking animals, humans, and many other things, but even these amazing dogs have to be trained to do what you want them to do. On top of this, having a good tracking dog is also considered to be a more ethical way to hunt, as your chances of leaving a wounded animal behind are minimized.
The task you will be training your pup to do is to put that extremely sensitive nose to work. This is what Bloodhounds were bred for--all you have to do is enhance this skill and put it to work for you, tracking down the ones that get away. Be aware, however, that not all states allow the use of tracking dogs when hunting, be sure to check your state and local laws first.
There are several different methods you can use to train your pup's nose and hone his skills. The earlier you start training your pup to track deer, the better. While you can train an older dog to track, it is a lot harder and can take a much longer time. Also worth noting, you should be training your dog to track and find, not to attack. The last thing you want is for your pup to get hurt attacking a wounded animal, nor do you want him eating the meat you were planning to feed to your family.
The only real restriction is to wait until your pup's bones have fully formed to start training. Your vet can determine this for you. Your Bloodhound should also have mastered the four basic commands: 'sit', 'come', 'stay', and 'down'. You will also need a few training supplies to get things rolling, including:
The most important things you can bring with you to every training session are time and patience. Training your pup to track deer successfully isn't something that happens overnight. In fact, it can take months over the course of several hunting seasons for him to master this skill.